6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Study: Vets Face Difficult Transition to Civilian Life in L.A. County

Support Provided By
A study released today by the University of Southern California reveals that a majority of veterans have a difficult time transitioning to civilian life after leaving the military and returning to L.A. County.
A study released today by the University of Southern California reveals that a majority of veterans have a difficult time transitioning to civilian life after leaving the military and returning to L.A. County.  | Photo: PA National Guard/Flickr/Creative Commons License

A majority of veterans who leave the military and return to Los Angeles County are unprepared for the transition to civilian life, with most having no job and many suffering from untreated physical and mental health issues, according to a USC study released today.

The study by the USC School of Social Work also found that about 40 percent of veterans were unsure of where they would be living when they left the military. Nearly 80 percent left the military without a job, but expected that they would find work quickly.

"The main thing we learned with this study is that separating serving members leave the military, and they enter civilian communities with a myriad of issues,'' said Carl Castro, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work. "There is not a singular need. No one says, 'I just need a job' or 'I just need housing.' Similarly, we have to take a multiple, holistic approach to helping veterans transition," he said.

The study -- "The State of the American Veteran: The Los Angeles County Veterans Study'' -- was based on a survey of more than 1,350 veterans, along with follow-up focus groups including dozens of veterans.

According to the study, more than two-thirds of the veterans surveyed said they had difficulties adjusting to civilian life, while 69 percent of post-9/11 veterans said they needed time to decide what they would do after their military service.

Post-9/11 veterans also had high percentages of mental and physical health issues. Among the most recent veterans, one-third planned to commit suicide and never sought help, compared to 24 percent of pre-9/11 veterans, the study found.

Many post-9/11 veterans said they did not know where to go to seek help, and many cited concerns about confidentiality and potential harm to their careers if they sought help. More than 37 percent of them said they felt they could handle their problems alone, and about the same percentage said they had trouble scheduling an appointment.

More than 60 percent of them said they needed help securing employment, education, and Veterans Affairs benefits. The study recommended an expansion of the military transition program, with a focus on ensuring veterans have jobs and housing lined up.

"With this data, we will design improved initiatives to do more to reduce unemployment, homelessness and other transition challenges,'' said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. "As a Navy reservist, it's especially important to me that those who wear our nation's uniform are fully supported when they come home.''

Support Provided By
Read More
Julia Bogany with Homeboy Art Academy Art Gang

You Will Not Be Invisible: Tongva Elder Julia Bogany’s Unwavering Commitment to Future Generations

Committed to teaching and celebrating her ancestors' history, stories, language, sites and traditions, longtime activist and educator Julia Bogany leaves behind a legacy of raising awareness of the original inhabitants of what is now Los Angeles.
Getty Images - Filibuster - Harry Reid

Kill the Senate Filibuster and Save a Bipartisan American West That Cares About the Environment

Former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid along with 18 Democratic senators say the filibuster may need to be reformed or abolished to break the partisan logjam holding up legislation on the most urgent crises facing our nation, including climate change.
A man in a bright yellow reflective safety vest stands behind two boxes stacked on a table. There are also bags of fruit. The man is wearing a mask and looking off to the distance. Behind him is a person wearing a bright orange safety vest and holding a clipboard. Their back is facing the camera and it appears as if they are guiding a line of cars.

Where to Get Financial Assistance, Food and More During the Coronavirus Crisis

Here's a list of places that are offering financial assistance, food aid, rent relief, debt relief and more. We regularly update it.